Late last night they reported that Joe Pa had passed away. I immediately reached out to a friend of mine who is a huge Penn State supporter and super alum, as I knew she would be hurting by the news. Thoughts out to you again, Joan!
Yet within minutes, they changed the story. This is the issue with the internet as your main news source… Stories are rushed to electronic print, and the traditional two-source, well-researched and investigated news story is dead. It’s shoot first and ask the right questions later…
This morning, it was reported again, and this time it seemed to be real and accurate and true. I let out a deep and emotionally confused sigh.
Just this past summer I was in Chicago for Big Ten Media days and was transfixed by Joe Pa. I did not get to meet him or even shake his hand, but he walked right by me after finishing a round of questions during the hours-long press conference. I watched him in awe… studied him… He was a legend, an icon and I was transfixed. I even got a pretty good Joe Pa impression down, answering the questions about the controversy at Ohio State and in college football in general.
He seemed humble and gentle, like the best grandfather ever. He was the man everyone wanted to be around. He was… simply… the man.
No writer in the world would have written the end of the story like this. None of us saw this coming. Not with Joe Pa. No way.
As I struggle with my emotions I realize something pretty powerful… If you get lost along the way in your youth, you may be able to turn it around and they may they forget. Assuming it is nothing egregious. But if you get lost at the end, they will remember forever.
While his amazing accomplishments will never vanish, they will forever be tarnished… overshadowed by a strange and confused lack of ethics and morals. It is so very sad to think that Joe Pa’s reputation will be taken down because of a complete and total scumbag. Why he was not willing to report this animal will haunt so many people. It haunts and confuses me. Why did he not do more? Why he thought that the program needed to be placed above a child molester and abuser is utterly shocking and disturbing. Ironically, concern for the program should have had him doing everything in his power to report this piece of shit and move the program as far away from him as possible. Instead, there was one cover up after the next and the end was this. He is not solely to blame, of course, and the one who must ultimately pay the price is the criminal and perpetrator. This is the one who should get all of our disgust. But this is a huge lesson in the absolute importance of doing the right thing. You have no choice. Stand up and do the right thing… ALWAYS.
I had a lot more to say, but I editing myself. Why? I don’t know. I guess I did not want to get into certain things… I did not want to be too political in this blog. I have another arena for that… and this is my blog and I can do what I want… I do not like editing myself… not at all… I hate it… But there are times when you have to stop and breathe and make a better decision, and I hoping that is what I did.
Jackson Browne – Late For The Sky
For those regular readers you know that I met Jackson a month or so ago. Not the friendliest guy and it was a bit awkward… but he did sign a CD he did not play on, so maybe that was strange for him… But it is Jackson Browne and he is standing right there, so I asked him. Whatever…
The only thing he said to me, while gesturing to the Sharpie, was “make sure you keep the cap on that.”
Aside from that, I love JB. I’ll overlook that and hope another meeting is more… friendly. Whatever.
This album is gorgeous and one of my favorite records period. It is only his third record, but so confident and assured and so good. So good. Ironically, the lyrics are questioning and dealing with the uncertainty that is life… But when someone lays themselves so bare and open and is such a talent, only great things can happen… Well… Great things happen here. Every track is solid… but here are my standouts…
I leave you with this… Peace, comfort and love…
“I don’t know what happens when people die
Can’t seem to grasp it as hard as I try
It’s like a song I can hear playing right in my ear
That I can’t sing
I can’t help listening
And I can’t help feeling stupid standing ’round
Crying as they ease you down
‘Cause I know that you’d rather we were dancing
Dancing our sorrow away
(Right on dancing)
No matter what fate chooses to play
(There’s nothing you can do about it anyway)”